- Researchers discover a protein that slows ice cream's melting process
- Ice cream made with the ingredient could be available in three to five years
(CNN)Portable and refreshing, an ice cream cone is a perfect hot-weather treat. Until it starts dripping all over your hand.
Now scientists in Scotland say they've licked the problem.
Researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee have discovered a naturally occurring protein that can be used to create ice cream that is more resistant to melting. The protein binds the air, fat and water in ice cream, creating a smooth consistency that stays frozen longer.
And, scientists say, it won't affect the taste.
The protein, known as BslA, occurs naturally in some foods and works by adhering to fat droplets and air bubbles, making them more stable in a mixture. Researchers at the two universities say they've developed a method of producing BsIA in so-called "friendly" bacteria, which have positive health benefits.
"We're excited by the potential this new ingredient has for improving ice cream, both for consumers and for manufacturers," said Professor Cait MacPhee of the University of Edinburgh's School of Physics and Astronomy, who led the project.
MacPhee told the BBC that